The city of Chicago is considering implementing monthly payments to struggling families to cover costs of food, housing or transportation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering these monthly payments as universal income for the people of Chicago. Ameya Pawar, an alderman for the city's North Side, introduced a resolution in June, which called on the mayor to launch a program that would pay $500 every month to 1,000 families, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Sheila Regehr Roosevelt House
In the matter of where things stand on basic income in Canada, I find that a great deal depends on how it is named and framed. By clearing away some confusion, I think there is good reason to be optimistic about the success of the movement towards a basic income for everyone in this country.
While all the global factors that are driving renewed interest in basic income play out in Canada, from concerns about technological unemployment to democratic deficits and environmental crises, there are important practical debates specific to our country. Two key debates revolve around whether basic income threatens other social infrastructure like public services, and whether a basic income is too radical or bold an idea for a country that tends towards ‘relentless incrementalism’ (setting aside that when we have gone bold, as with medicare, we have had iconic success).
We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the USA, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income Guarantee Experiment prematurely.
Each of our experimental designs is somewhat different, reflecting our own political and social context. Together these experiments have the potential to produce data upon which evidence-informed social policy might be based. Ontario represented a key piece of the analysis, and has been watched closely by policymakers and researchers around the globe.
Nearly 600 people have signed on to take part in a universal basic income (UBI) experiment in the northern Swiss town of Rheinau meaning researchers are close to hitting the number needed for the project to have any chance of going ahead.
In the seven days since the enrolment process began, 588 residents of the town have agreed to take part in the project which would see participating adults receive a monthly universal basic income (UBI) of 2,500 francs ($2,570) for a year.
This means the woman behind the experiment, Swiss filmmaker Rebecca Panian, has almost hit her target of at least 650 participants.
This figure equates to half the population of Rheinau and she considers it the absolute minimum level of participation required before the fundraising stage of the project can go ahead.
The Lindsay Advocate
City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger along with Chris Friel, Mayor of Brantford, and Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay, issued a joint letter to Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development expressing their concern with the sudden cancellation of the Basic Income Pilot Program and their united request to the Federal Government to assume oversight of the project.
“We’ve come together to share with Minister Duclos that there is broad-based support for the continuation of this important, evidence based program,” said Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton.
The news that the new Government of Ontario has disgracefully decided to scrap the basic income (BI) experiments is incredibly disappointing and short-sighted. Coming on the back of the decision in Finland to not extend the experiments there, this could appear to be a major setback for the global BI agenda.
Moreover, it’s a huge blow for the 4,000 people participating in the pilot who, after a relatively short time, reported numerous positive effects of boosted economic security. Participants are rightly feeling betrayed by a government that only a few months ago — midelection — suggested it would leave the project intact.
Letter to Editor
Gregory Mason notes that recruiting participants was challenging and suggests it would have been impossible to obtain quality data without actions just short of harassment. I am a member of the evaluation team based at St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University that replaced Mason’s firm as the third-party evaluator in September 2017. Mason’s claims about the feasibility of participant recruitment and data collection presume a knowledge he couldn’t possibly have — he was only with the project for less than 10 per cent of the recruitment — and is contrary to our experience in numerous other studies.